|Posted on February 4, 2021 at 10:30 AM|
Regardless of who you talk to these days there seems to be a lot of uncertainty and unrest in our land. The so called “culture war” between those who hold to the more traditional values and those who embrace the more progressive ideals has been brewing for some time now. The political divide between those who are conservative in their views and those who are liberal has been escalating to the point of violence in the streets. Despite the exponential increase of knowledge and information via the worldwide web along with the incessant flow of daily news reports people seem more polarized and confused than ever. As a result there seems to be a dramatic rise in both fear due to a lack of faith and hatred due to excessive pride.
So where is the good news in all this mess? How shall we deal with the present and prepare for the future? The good news is that Jesus is still our King, the Father holds our future, and the Holy Spirit will continue to lead and comfort us regardless of what comes our way. The answer to fear is faith while the answer to hate is love. Believing the truth of who God has made us to be in Christ gives us the hope we need to love others. Knowing that God has made us secure in his love and significant in his plan allows us to make the choices we need to make today and guarantees our victory in the future.
Does believing this good news mean that we will avoid all suffering in this world? Of course not! Because we live in a sin-cursed world that is falling apart we all will face suffering of various kinds. Our focus is not to be on avoiding such suffering but rather to endure it through the comfort of the indwelling Spirit. Jesus told his followers, “In this world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”. Likewise Paul assures us of God’s gracious provisions in the midst of our suffering saying, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death , nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments are replete with examples of God’s people victoriously enduring suffering in this world. Whether it be David and the giant, the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, Daniel in the lion’s den, or Elijah fighting the 400 false prophets of a corrupt government they all were victorious by the grace of God. What enabled Peter and John to endure threats and persecution by the government, Paul, and Silas to sing praised to God in jail, and thousands of first century martyrs to face death with joy in their hearts and praise on their lips is the same Comforter that lives in us today. Hearing his voice and following his directions in faith puts us in a “supernatural bubble” of love, joy, and peace even in this chaotic world we are living in today.
That “supernatural bubble” known as the fruit of the Spirt is what allows us to display longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control as the very character of Christ. Our Father has not left us in this world to be fat, dumb, and happy but given us the Spirit of his Son to be Christ to others despite our circumstances. Jesus promised us that both he and the Father would be at home with us as we endure the opposition we must face. Even though it may look and feel like we are going to lose be assured the victory is coming.